Our most vulnerable supporters are under attack

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 19th June 2024

The chair of Hammers United has been explaining why the board's decision to do away with concessions for the elderly and children should be challenged.

Paul Colborne was invited on to TalkSport's White & Jordan show this morning to explain why his organisation is backing calls for the club to reverse the decision to withdraw discounts for under 21s and long-term supporters.

And he also called for Hammers fans to boycott the club's sponsors and merchandise in protest at the price hikes.

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"Any new season ticket holder who is over 66 or under 21 will only receive the concession price if they sit in Bands 5 or 6," Colborne explained. "Those seats not only have a diabolical view, but there's an awful lot of stairs up to those seats. It seems ridiculous that our oldest fans are being asked to get up there.

"The West Ham fan base is united here. All the bloggers, fan groups and social media pages - I've never know them to be this united [over a single issue], ever. The club is supposed to engage with its fans, but there has been no engagement [over this].

"We made some suggestions to West Ham which we'd hoped they would consider - but they won't. So the fans have to put up with it, or do what West Ham fans have always done best - come together and stick up for our own. These are our most vulnerable supporters under attack."

And Colborne also suggested that the additional revenue gained from the club's policy would be minimal.

"West Ham's gate money is 17 per cent of their [annual] income," he said. "This attack on our concessions will probably pay Danny Ings' wages for four or five weeks. It's not going to compromise West Ham in the transfer window [by reversing the decision].

"Premier League fans groups are very much united against this [removal of concessions]. It's not just at West Ham."

Responding to Colborne's concerns, co-host Simon Jordan expressed his support. "Older concessions - is that an area I really want to play into?" he said.

"Do I really want to look at a segment of my fanbase and say 'the guys who have supported me for years and now qualify for concession, their reward is that they'll no longer be offered a concession'?"

* If you would like to support the campaign to have the removal of concessions for children and the elderly reversed, you may sign a fan's petition which may be found on change.org.

More than 6,000 fans have already added their names.

* Something to say about this story? Please visit the KUMB Forum to leave a comment.

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